Sunday, December 15, 2013

BOTB: IT WOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE

The five bloggers below are co-sponsoring a blog event on the first and fifteenth of each month. 






Robin (Your Daily Dose) 


I have been a stowaway on their journey, at least until I run out of covers of Todd Rundgren songs.

For today's post, I am back to what should be more familiar territory, with another tune from what is often considered Todd's opus, Something/Anything?.

"It Wouldn't Have Made Any Difference" was the second track on the Something/Anything? album, although it was not released as a single. It was a catchy ballad that has remained a concert staple over the years, and was even covered by Rundgren himself on his bossa-nova album With A Twist.

 The song is another nod to 1960's pop songs. The song would later be covered by Alison Kraus on her album Forget About It.

 



TODD RUNDGREN-
IT WOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE





ALISON KRAUSS-
IT WOULDN'T HAVE MADE ANY DIFFERENCE





So which version do you like better?

27 comments:

  1. I'm surprised that Todd's version wasn't released as a single as it's one of his songs that I seem to recall hearing on the radio most often. It's one of my favorites.

    I'm a big Krause fan and I love her takes on many covers. Her version of Todd's song is lovely, but I've got to go with Todd's version between the two.

    And Todd has jingling bells in the background which makes it sound more seasonal.

    Rundgren does this song best!

    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I think it would have been a single but for the other three that came from Something/Anything?.

      In Philly it got lots of airplay well into the 80's...I've not listened to radio in so long I have no idea whether it plays on AZ radio.

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  2. Call it a draw. Nothing to put one ahead of the other for me.

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    1. Fair enough-I thought the fuller arrangement by Todd added a lot...

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  3. Alison Krauss gets my vote. I love her strong voice and she can play a fiddle (violin). Thanks for jogging my memory of her.

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    1. Keep on jogging to an Alison Krauss blog, D. G....

      Kidding, of course! Thanks for dropping by and commenting. I like Alison mostly for the work she'd done with Robert Plant-was unaware of the Rundgren cover until I did this post.

      Delete
  4. Those are really, really close. Think Todd's version had more punch.

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    1. I'd agree-sometimes he can overproduce things, but in this case it really does add to the song. I love the bells Lee mentions, and there's a little sythesizer riff right after the last verse that I have always loved.

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  5. Why is it with these TR songs, I never recognize the title, but just a few bars in and I'm thinking; ' oh yeah, I remember this one'. Is that just this dumb blonde or what?

    Allison Krauss does a nice job with this cover, BUT I'm back to voting for Todd. I'm starting to think that with his tunes 'Nobody does it better'.

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    1. You are secretly a TR fan and are not ready to admit it.

      Start slow...there are more of us out there than you think. You are not alone...

      Delete
  6. I love, love, love Alison Krauss - although, I did give both songs a listen - she wins!

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    1. We'll have to agree to disagree, Yolanda-but AK did do a nice job!

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  7. I also think that both versions were really close. Though Alison Krauss has a beautiful voice, I still prefer Todd Rundgren.

    Julie

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    1. Good answer!

      At the risk of sounding like a broken record (pun intended), I think Todd's production on the song sets it apart.

      Delete
  8. Sorry I missed this yesterday -- I was out and about and away from the Blogosphere all day, and it was my own first BOTB post on my blog (and thank you Blogger for the ability to pre-schedule a post)! :)

    But, like Arlee said -- this wasn't a single? I'm also surprised. It's one I know pretty well and have heard on the radio many times over the years. I also think it's a great song and fully captures that fundamental Todd-ness. The whole arrangement, the chord changes, the subject matter of the song, the melody all instantly tell you within just a few seconds, "this is a Todd Rundgren song."

    But I really like Allison Krause. I love some of her work, and I think she does a really good version of this song. The mix of her bluegrass-y vocals, the dobro slide, and the orchestration is very tasty. I also think she gives an extra sensitivity to the lyrics, and the guitar at the end ends up swaying it for me.

    So as much as I like the original TR version, and give him tremendous credit for writing the song, I actually think Allison gives it a little more sensitivity and nuance and end the end, covers it a little better.

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    1. Chris-

      The singles from Something/Anything? were "I Saw The Light," "Couldn't I Just Tell You," and "Hello It's Me." I guess they did not feel a fourth was warranted, although Wikipedia shows that another song, "Wolfman Jack," was a single a couple of years later.

      I agree-this should have been a single.

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    2. Chris-did you say you put up a BOTB post? I did not see it....

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    3. Yes -- it's on my blog ("StratPlayerCJF.blogspot.com").

      I scheduled it in advance so it evidently doesn't automatically get a link to it from my Google+ account. But I've added a G+ post so people can get to it from my G+ profile now...

      And thanks for not giving me too hard of a time for voting against Todd. I was surprised -- it most of your earlier BOTB bouts, it was no contest that the original was better...

      For a change, maybe put together a BOTB bout with Todd doing a cover of someone else's song -- I wonder how that would go?

      Delete
    4. Now why didn't I think of that? I run out of covers in February, but Todd has done a few covers in his day...I'ma thinkin' that is a plan!

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  9. You know, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that wanted to call this a draw. I love Krause's voice, but musically, Todd just nails it a lot better. And, well, not like his voice is any slouch.

    So I say Todd, by the slightest of edges.

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    1. Of course I joke with the people who vote against Todd, but I always like to hear people do a take on his songs (especially if they make money at it-it keeps him touring and recording). It seems like Krauss has been the most popular covering artist in this series.

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  10. I'm not sure that I ever heard this song before.

    >>... I'd agree-sometimes he can overproduce things...

    That may be true, but in this case I think the A.K. version sounded more "overly-produced" than did the T.R. song. And I vote overwhelmingly for the Todd original!

    Todd's a really good singer. It's not that his voice is really great (although it's pretty damned good, in my opinion!), but his phrasing and his timing really expresses a lot of emotion in an understated way. Since knowing you, I have really come to appreciate Todd Rugrat more than before. BUT!...

    >>... For a change, maybe put together a BOTB bout with Todd doing a cover of someone else's song -- I wonder how that would go?

    I totally agree with that! I'm tired of you setting Todd up for easy wins. Let's see what happens when Rugrat tries to steal someone else's thunder.

    I'd suggest you start with Todd attempting to cover the Beach Boys classic 'Good Vibrations'. Let's see how THAT voting goes.

    Then you can move on to Todd trying to beat Robert Johnson by simply adding electricity and more volume (i.e., cranking it "up to eleven") and playing faster useless notes in an attempt to substitute noise for passion. Let's see how that goes.

    But before you do that, and I begin voting constantly AGAINST your hero, Rugrat, why don't you...

    ...send me his 'Greatest Hits' on CD for Christmas? ("Stephen, 'We Gotta Get You A CD! And when we're through with you, we'll get me one too'.")

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. I liked Chris' idea a lot...although I object to the idea I was "setting Todd up for easy wins." I just followed my idea-it's not like I left off cover versions because I thought they might be better than the original.

      The "Good Vibrations" cover is not the best choice, since that was an album side where he set out to mimic the artists- it is so close to The Beach Boys' version that the votes should all be a tie.

      But some of the Johnson covers would be interesting, especially if I compare to the Johnson cover and an electrified version that was really more the inspiration.

      Todd always said about the Johnson disc that he was covering the British rock guitarists who covered Johnson.

      It just so happens I have a spare copy of a greatest hits CD....but after all those shots I wouldn't give it to ya if you wuz the LAST ObamaCare applicant on New Year's Eve!

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  11. Ha!-Ha!

    I don't blame ya in the least.
    However... I was totally goofing off. I deliberately set out to see how obnoxious I could be and to see if I could rattle yer cage. I did, and that was my Christmas gift to ya, LC!

    Truthfully, I wouldn't even be able to accept a Todd Rugrat 'Greatest Hits' CD from you. It would seem so unnatural and make me feel "dirty" somehow, knowing how you really feel about compilation albums.

    Although - who knows? - maybe one day I really will buy one for myself, because the part about having a much greater appreciation for him since meeting you was the grain of truth in my obnoxiousness.

    Incidentally, did you receive the Email I sent you from work a few nights ago where I wrote a little bit about those different beers I had brought for you? (I'm at home for the next two days, so this be where I'm temporarily receiving Emails.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

    POSTSCRIPT: Agreed about the Todd Vs. Beach Boys response, by the way. He was covering it practically note for note, so there would be no real reason to present that as a BOTB. But the Todd Covers Vs. Originals really would be kind of an interesting endeavor, and it would keep you BOTB-ing with us longer. So I say... have at it, LC.

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    1. I figured you wuz goofing, and I wuzn't really worked up...

      I bought the greatest hits disc with the intention of giving it out-Amazon had priced them at $2 each and had ten left, so I bought them all. So no need to feel unnatural or dirty if you're interested in it-I've already handed out nine of 'em.

      LC

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  12. Alison Krauss is one of my favorite singers. You just had to go and put up a TR song against her! I am afraid that when it comes to My Girls everyone else loses. ::Don't hate me:: I saw AK in concert a few years ago and it was amazing. Her voice just blows me away. I really wish I could sing like that. So, it's definitely Alison for me. (Sorry Todd)

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    1. Robin-all opinions are welcome here, except those of that McCarthy character!

      More people voted for Todd over the course of this than I expected...when I start going the other way (Todd covers others), it will be interesting to see how it goes.

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